Cap"ri*fi*ca"tion (?), n. [L. caprificatio, fr. caprificare to ripen figs by caprification, fr. caprificus the wild fig; caper goat + ficus fig.]

The practice of hanging, upon the cultivated fig tree, branches of the wild fig infested with minute hymenopterous insects.

⇒ It is supposed that the little insects insure fertilization by carrying the pollen from the male flowers near the opening of the fig down to the female flowers, and also accelerate ripening the fruit by puncturing it. The practice has existed since ancient times, but its benefit has been disputed.


© Webster 1913.

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